What Is Invert Sugar?

Everyone knows what regular sugar is, but what about invert sugar? Well, chances are, you’ve probably tasted it. 

Invert sugar is often used in ice cream, cereal bars, and flavored yogurt. This sweet liquid is often used to sweeten many sweet treats, both homemade and commercial ones. 

What Is Invert Sugar?

Invert sugar is similar to table sugar, but it does have a few differences which we’ll cover in this article. You’ll learn what invert sugar is, what it’s used for in the distilling process, and how to make it yourself at home. 

Keep reading to learn more about invert sugar!

What Is Invert Sugar?

Invert sugar, also referred to as invert syrup, is a liquid sweetener created from a water and granulated sugar mixture. 

Table sugar is a substance that’s also called sucrose. It’s made when glucose, a type of sugar molecule, chemically attaches itself to fructose, a different type of sugar molecule. 

Invert sugar is made through hydrolysis. During this process, water and sucrose mix and are heated to break the bonds linking fructose and glucose.

You can add acidic components like cream of tartar to speed the process up. 

Hydrolysis creates a viscous, sweet syrup made from equal parts fructose and glucose. Fructose is the sweetest kind of natural sugar, which is why fruit contains a lot of it.

As invert sugar contains fructose, it tastes much more sweet compared to standard table sugar. 

Where Does The Name Come From?

Invert sugar received its name from its interesting light-reflective abilities. Chemical bonds among sugar molecules can change the direction of light reflecting as it travels. 

Polarized light traveling through standard table sugar always moves in a particular direction. If this light travels through invert sugar, it will reflect the opposite way, also known as the inverted direction. 

This is why this type of sugar is known as invert sugar. 

Invert Sugar In The Kitchen

Invert Sugar In The Kitchen

Invert sugar is mainly used to sweeten drinks and foods, but it does come with a few advantages. 

The syrup can help baked treats keep their moisture within, preventing the goods from drying out. The texture is also better as the syrup doesn’t solidify, which can happen when standard table sugar is used.

Think about when you add table sugar to a cold drink, like iced tea. The sugar crystals usually sink to the bottom and take their time to dissolve. 

Invert sugar provides sweetness throughout the baked goods and as it’s more water-soluble, it solves the issue of sugar crystals falling to the bottom of your drink. 

You can use invert sugar to sweeten many different types of foods, in particular desserts. Examples include ice cream, jellies, soft cookies, and cakes.

It also works well to sweeten frozen cocktails as you won’t notice sugar crystals throughout the beverage. 

Completely inverted sugar is usually half fructose and half glucose. However, you can make it yourself with different amounts of each substance depending on how long you want to heat it for. 

Purchasing commercial invert sugar is convenient and chemically accurate, but it can be hard to find it within grocery retail stores.

If you can’t find invert sugar in your nearest store, you can check online or with a specialty bakery supply store. 

How To Make Invert Sugar 

The following process may sound tricky, but making invert sugar at home is easier than you think! 

The entire method takes just over an hour. You don’t need many ingredients at all! Just water, cream of tartar, sugar, and a candy thermometer. 

Follow the method below to make invert sugar right in the comfort of your own home!

  • Begin by mixing two cups of water with 4.4 cups of granulated table sugar. Mix in a quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar in the same pot. 
  • Next, heat the solution over medium heat until it boils. Monitor the temperature and check to see when it reached 236°F. Keep stirring every few minutes to avoid the sugar sinking to the bottom.
  • Take the pan off the heat, then cover and leave to cool. When it’s cooled down enough, pour the mixture into a clean jar and keep it in your fridge. 
  • The invert sugar will last you up to six months but always keep it stored in the fridge. 

Nutritional Issues

As invert sugar is a type of added sugar, you may have nutritional concerns. At 46 calories per tablespoon, invert sugar’s nutritional value is similar to corn syrup and standard granulated sugar. 

Sugar isn’t inherently bad, but it should always be consumed in moderation. Always limit any foods and beverages that use invert sugar.

Eating too much sugar is linked to serious health issues, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and liver disease. 

Most people can consume sugar safely, but always remember your limits. The American Heart Association states that women shouldn’t consume more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, while men shouldn’t go over 9 teaspoons a day.

View invert sugar the same way you would with any other type of added sugar. If you are worried about your sugar intake, there are several things you can do. 

Reading labels can help you track your sugar levels. You may want to note down these figures in a journal or app to stay accountable. 

If you use invert sugar for baking at home, you can try experimenting with lower levels of sugar and seeing how this affects the taste.

Adding more low-sugar fruit, like blueberries or raspberries, can keep your bakes tasty while keeping the sugar content lower. 


Invert sugar is a different type of added sugar. It’s a liquid made from a sugar and water mix. Once the sugars in sucrose break down, the liquid turns into a viscous syrup made from equal parts fructose and glucose.

Invert sugar doesn’t just make things sweet, it can help baked goods keep moist and make sweet treats more appetizing. 

However, while it may be tasty, invert sugar carries the same risks as any other type of sugar. Try not to consume too much of the syrup, as too much can lead to serious health issues later

Invert sugar can be difficult to track down in stores, but you can easily make your own invert sugar at home!

Robert Kaser
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